Chicago Bears: Chicago Beras

ESPN NFL analyst Cris Carter says the injury to Jay Cutler is a huge loss, and that the Bears will have trouble replacing the confidence Cutler instills in his teammates.

Play Download

3rd quarter wrap: Panthers 24-20

October, 2, 2011
10/02/11
2:10
PM ET
CHICAGO -- The Panthers came close to pulling to within a point, but defensive end Julius Peppers blocked an Olindo Mare field goal attempt with 5 minutes left in the quarter, and the score remained 24-20 in favor of the Bears.

Earlier in that drive, Newton completed what appeared to be a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey, but the play was nullified by an offensive pass interference called on Shockey.

Four plays later, Peppers blocked the Mare 34-yard attempt with Peppers recovering for the Bears.

But the home team couldn't take advantage, and punted after six plays.

Peppers' value? Ask Bears' opponents

October, 14, 2010
10/14/10
2:14
PM ET
[+] EnlargeJulius Peppers
AP Photo/Nell RedmondJulius Peppers doesn't have gaudy sack numbers, but his production is forcing opopnents to strategize to stop him.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears constantly rave about the contributions Julius Peppers makes that don't show up on the stat sheet.

But believe it or not, there's tangible evidence to justify the Bears signing Peppers to a six-year, $91 million contract.

"This week, going up against Julius Peppers -- it's very similar to what we had to deal with in the preseason going up against Jared Allen -- one of those things that can disrupt your whole game plans," said Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. "You have to slide your line away from [him], put all the backs and tight ends on [him], just one of those things you have to do when you play against a very special player."

Although he's registered just two sacks on the season, Peppers is the only player in the league with two sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. It goes deeper, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Peppers leads the league in pass breakups among defensive linemen (4), and his four pass defenses match Chicago's entire total on the defensive front from 2009, when Anthony Adams, Gaines Adams, Alex Brown and Tommie Harris contributed one apiece.

"He's a great athlete," linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "We've all seen what he can do. He keeps doing it every Sunday, and every day in practice, too."

So Peppers deserves plenty of credit for the club's defensive improvement thus far, as does Urlacher, who missed pretty much all of last season, yet now ranks second on the team with 44 tackles.

The Bears gave up 23.4 points per game last year, and are allowing just 14.8 so far this season, which ranks as fifth-best in the league. The Chiefs are the only team experiencing a larger decrease in points per game from 2009 to 2010, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

"They're good as always. When you talk about the great defenses in the NFL, you always talk about the Tampa style defenses, which ironically mean Chicago these days," Hasselbeck said. "They're tough to run against. They're tough to throw against. It's a traditional Chicago defense; very, very good."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider